The New England Revolution advanced to the quarterfinals of the US Open Cup by defeating the New York Cosmos (NASL) 3-2 on Wednesday night. Goals from Ruben Bover and Sebastian Guenzatti were nullified by a Teal Bunbury brace and a single tally from Kei Kamara. Here are three thoughts from the win.
1. Will Kelyn Rowe be mad if everyone starts calling Bunbury the hero of the Open Cup? With six goals in nine games, Rowe's Open Cup performances have elevated him to legendary status. The 2013 rendition of the tournament was huge for Rowe, as he recorded braces against the Rochester Rhinos and New York Red Bulls. That said, Bunbury was outstanding against the Cosmos and could steal the title of hero. Bunbury's bad giveaway that led to a Cosmos goal should be forgotten because of all of the contributions he made on both sides of the ball. Let's not forget that the attacker scored two goals, including the game-winner. It was a good night for Bunbury and certainly one that head coach Jay Heaps will be thinking about when he writes his starting XI.
2. The Kamara hat trick is coming. Okay, maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself, but it was definitely positive to see Kamara get his first goal in a Revolution jersey since strikers build confidence with each tally. Consequently, scoring droughts lead to a lot of second-guesses and overall timidness. Kamara should happy with his performance on Wednesday night as he scored a difficult goal from a tight angle while also recording the game-winning assist. The former Columbus Crew SC man now needs to start getting on the end of more crosses.
3. Defense is still an issue. Currently in the middle of a busy stretch, Heaps opted for a mix of starters and reserves along the back line. Jordan McCrary and Andrew Farrell patrolled the flanks while Jose Goncalves and Samba were in the middle. The new-look defense followed recent trends as they were beaten too often by one-two passes and allowed the Cosmos to take the lead twice. Perhaps more interesting, however, was seeing Bobby Shuttleworth return to the net after two games with Brad Knighton as the starter. Shuttleworth was fine on the night but didn't do enough to reclaim his spot, in my opinion.